When I finished basic sciences and started to prepare for studying on my own, I thought I had it together and thought I knew what I was doing. I had a set plan of what I wanted to accomplish each day, and how I wanted to do it.
Fast forward to 8 months later, and I look back and realize the importance of guided studies. As a medical student, we shouldn’t ever do anything alone. It’s important to always have a mentor/guide giving you advice on how to proceed and how to accomplish your goals. It’s important to carve out set study hours during your day and to have the self-discipline to stick to it. Having a mentor through my previous review session helps keep me accountable to my schedule, as well as having someone to advise me through my personal studies. My mentor created a strict schedule for me to follow and goes as far as advising me on how many questions to do per day, and certain topics to cover. I have some friends who try to study on their own with no guidance, and I can sense the difficulties that they experience as well as maintaining motivation to stay in a routine.
Having accountability is a great thing as a student studying for a board exam, and I highly encourage everyone to have a mentor of some sort. You don’t have to pay for a review course just to get a mentor – you can have a fellow classmate “mentor” you, and you do the same for them! It all comes down to having someone help keep you accountable.